Woman Allowed to Serve Divorce Papers Through Facebook
A judge in the Manhattan Supreme Court is allowing a woman to serve divorce papers to her elusive husband through a Facebook message. The woman, Ellanora Baidoo, 26, has been granted permission to “serve defendant with the divorce summons using a private message through Facebook” and will do so once per week for three weeks or until it has been acknowledged. This is a landmark case and could serve as a means for other people across the country to serve divorce papers to hard-to-reach spouses.
Reasons Behind the Ruling
Ms. Baidoo and her husband, Victor Sena Blood-Dzraku, were married in a civil ceremony in 2009. However, the marriage quickly soured when Mr. Blood-Dzraku refused to have a traditional Ghanaian ceremony as he had originally promised. As a result, the marriage was never consummated and the couple never formally lived together.
However, despite these significant issues Mr. Blood-Dzraku does not want to end the marriage, and he keeps in contact with Ms. Baidoo through phone and Facebook. Unfortunately, he has no fixed address or place of employment so serving divorce papers had been impossible to accomplish. Mr. Blood-Dzraku has made the task of serving divorce papers even more difficult by refusing to make himself available to receive the documents.
According to Ms. Baidoo and her attorney, “the post office has no forwarding address for him, there is no billing address linked to his prepaid cell phone, and the Department of Motor Vehicles has no record of him. We tried everything, including hiring a private detective — and nothing,” The judge took the efforts of Ms. Baidoo into account when making his ruling to allow her to use the social media’s private messaging tool as a means to serve divorce papers to her husband.
Florida Law Serving Divorce Papers
Florida law requires that a copy of the divorce petition be served to your spouse when you file for divorce. This document can be served in two ways, either in person or through certified mail. If you choose to serve the divorce documents through personal service, anyone 18 years or older can serve the papers, but it cannot be you.
Service requires that the documents be given directly to your spouse with the single exception that they can be given to “someone of suitable age or discretion” that also lives in the home or is authorized to accept these types of documents on their behalf. If you spouse refuses to accept the documents, you must continue to try until proper service is completed.
Contact a Florida Divorce Attorney Today
This recent ruling opens up new avenues for people to get help serving papers to unwilling spouses. If you or someone that you know wishes to serve divorce papers or has other questions regarding divorce law in the Orlando area, let the experienced family law office of Steve W. Marsee, P.A. help. Call the office or contact us today for a free and confidential consultation of your case.